Smidgen Podcast 007: Good Reason to Gather

Posted on July 25, 2019 by Anne Milneck | 3 comments

Want to do something today that will positively impact your health, relationships and overall happiness? Of course, for all of us, the answer is yes. And it’s as simple as preparing a meal and enjoying it with friends and family.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker Leslie Todd joins us on Smidgen to talk loneliness, isolation and how those factors affect mental health. Anne and Leslie talk about the role of electronics in our lives and how our devices are keeping us from forming close, interpersonal connections.



Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, Leslie offers simple tips for re-connecting by taking advantage of experiential learning—like Red Stick Spice Company cooking classes. After the interview, Anne heads to the kitchen with store staffer Sara to cook up Roasted Cauliflower with Capers, Walnuts and Yogurt.

Here’s a list of the links we mentioned in the podcast:

  • Anne and Sara chat about all the ways this dish makes for an excellent choice when entertaining or inviting friends over. Serve it as an app or side dish. It’s also an excellent main dish for Vegetarians on your guest list.
  • We roasted the cauliflower with our Harissa Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a sprinkling of Zhug. We make use of our All Natural Avocado Oil and White Balsamic Vinegar in the tangy cauliflower topping.
  • Be sure to read more about Anne’s take on the importance of gathering—she’s built her entire business around this one simple act that pays dividends in health and happiness.
  • Be sure to learn more about Leslie Todd and her business Strategies for Change.
  • Leslie mentioned the importance of putting experiential learning on your calendar. Consider our Cooking Classes as a delicious way to connect with others. Leslie also mentioned dance classes and recommended Olli courses as well. For our Baton Rouge friends, find Olli courses at LSU For listeners outside Louisiana, contact local universities in your area to find Olli courses.
  • Leslie also recommended reaching out to a trusted loved one, mentor, school or church leader if you’re concerned with feelings of isolation or loneliness. You can connect with mental health professionals in your area via the Psychology Today website.
  • Learn more and contact Leslie Todd on her website

 

WHERE TO LISTEN TO SMIDGEN:

Listen to Smidgen on the podcast player above or on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or your favorite podcast app.

Smidgen Podcast Episode 006: Stock Options

Posted on July 18, 2019 by Anne Milneck | 0 comments

Stock versus broth. Which is better? What’s the right way? Are you doing it wrong? Anne and Catherine allow all the flavorful answers to bubble up in this episode. Making homemade chicken or vegetable stock has the reputation of being a long, arduous task. Oh, and bone broth? Who has time for that? While Anne certainly can relate to busy schedules, she does encourage cooks to carve out a few hours to make stocks and broths because it is oh, so worth it.

 

 

Find out Anne’s go-to method for making a big batch of chicken or vegetable stock. (Hint: get your slow cooker ready.) Listen as Anne describes why quick poached chicken breast can pay your forward for several meals. Learn why the multiple boil-roast-simmer steps in making bone broth really are necessary.

After Anne and Catherine extract all they can from the subject, Anne heads to the Red Stick Spice Company test kitchen with store staffer Madeline to cook up Curried Tomato Bisquewith Slab Grilled Cheese.

Here’s a list of the links we mentioned in the podcast:

  • Be sure to check out our recipes for Vegetable Stock, Chicken Stock and Shrimp Stock with step-by-step photos.
  • Madeline and Anne cook up feed-a-crowd Curried Tomato Bisque made with homemade vegetable stock. Customize the heat and flavor profile by choosing the Red Stick Spice Curry Powder that suits you. Anne loves Garlic Curry. If you’re looking for a little extra heat, grab our Vindaloo Curry. For a hit of citrus with extra cinnamon, Madras Curryis the answer.
  • While the soup cooked, Anne and Madeline popped Slab Grilled Cheese in the oven. We deviate from the traditional butter-bread-cheese formula and take this sandwich in a new direction by incorporating our House Blendalong with some Smoked Peppercorns. We achieve crispy, golden browned grilled cheesiness with one of our favorite kitchen tools: the sheet pan. If you haven’t already, be sure to give our Sheet Pan episodea listen—this is the Smidgen podcast episode with the most listens to date!
  • During Anne and Catherine’s chat, Anne talks about her quick method for chicken broth. This method gleans both a flavorful cooking liquid plus delicious poached chicken. We use this technique to make our Curried Chicken Salad. We poach the chicken with a big handful of spices including Tellicherry Peppercorns and Cardamom. Give it a try and be sure to hold on to the poaching liquid. It’s excellent for sipping or for creating soups, stews or curries!
  • We also cover Bone Broth in this episode. Anne goes over the totally-worth-it technique for making bone broth, but we also understand that busy schedules exist. If you’re in the market to purchase bone broth, we encourage seeking out bone broth made by artisans in your community. Check with your local butcher shops and farmers market. In Baton Rouge, you can find bone broth made from locally-pastured cows at Iverstine Farms Butcher. The shop’s freezer case is stocked with handy quarts of bone broth ready for you to take home and sip. Pro tip: Iverstine’s Butcher Bundles—the “meat subscription” Anne loves so much—often includes a quart of bone broth.
  • What about Shrimp Stock? Well, if you have a handful of shrimp peelings and 15 minutes, you’ve got yourself stock! We employ this method in our Sweet Corn and Shrimp Soup with Smoky Bacon. This soup is a show stopper with tons of flavor from our Salt Free BBQ Shrimp Seasoning, summertime corn and a sweet, smoky bacon garnish.
  • One final note: don’t let dwindling stock stop you from cooking at home from whole ingredients. Stock your pantry with high-quality stocks and broths. Anne chooses cartons of stock with zero sodium and looks for the ingredient list to be a short as possible. Check out her favorite store-bought stock option here. Oh, and give our Smidgen Bonus Episode Scratch vs Store Boughta listen. Anne covers all her choices for pantry staples in this fun, rapid-fire episode.

WHERE TO LISTEN TO SMIDGEN:

Listen to Smidgen on the podcast player above or on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or your favorite podcast app.

Smidgen Podcast Episode 005: From Your Public Library to Your Kitchen, Let's Cook the Book

Posted on July 11, 2019 by Anne Milneck | 0 comments

Question: Can your public library make you a better cook? Answer: Absolutely, yes! In this episode, we take a different look at “cooking the books.” While there are cookbooks among the shelves, checking out a book is only the beginning of how the public library can help the home cook. To offer more proof, we bring Mary Stein, Assistant Director of East Baton Rouge Parish Libraries on the podcast to talk all things books, e-books, digital courses and events. Mary arrived in character with a cartful of books to prove the point that when it comes to learning to cook, your public library is the place to start.



After talking with Mary, Anne heads to the Red Stick Spice test kitchen with store staffer Cameron to bake up a scrumptious Salted Dark Chocolate Cake.

Get the full shopping list for this recipe here: 



Here’s a list of the links we mentioned in the podcast:

  • First up, do you have a library card? For our friends in Baton Rouge, stop by any East Baton Rouge Parish Libraryand become a card holder. The same goes for our friends throughout the country: get yourself to your local library! When you do, a world of FREE information opens up to you.
  • Anne was intrigued by the free digital offerings for the home cook including Gale courses and access to historical recipes from The Advocate and the Times Picayune.
  • You can find the recipe for Anne’s mom’s (a former librarian) Library Punch (not to be confused with PTA Punch or Funeral Punch.) Anne found the recipe among her mother’s typed 3X5 index cards.
  • Cameron and Anne head to the test kitchen to bake up Salted Dark Chocoalte Cake. Anne, who avoids baking at all costs, becomes distracted and forgets to salt the top of the cake. Instead, she decides it should be covered in sprinkles. Either way, you should definitely make this cake. If you decide to salt it, we recommend Cyprus Flake Salt for a nice crunch to accompany the velvety, smooth chocolate.
  • Anne talks about her new, favorite book for the kitchen: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. She considers it her new Joy of Cooking and recommends it to all home cook

WHERE TO LISTEN TO SMIDGEN:

Listen to Smidgen on the podcast player above or on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or your favorite podcast app.

Smidgen Podcast Episode 004: In an Instant (Pot) | Bruce Weinstein + Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice

Posted on July 03, 2019 by Anne Milneck | 0 comments

While we were initially late to the party, we are now 100% on board when it comes to electric pressure cookers—specifically The Instant Pot. The electric pressure cooking trend looks like it’s here to stay. We now teach Instant Pot cooking classes at Red Stick Spice Company and find ourselves turning to this handy gadget daily.

On this episode of Smidgen, we chat with chef and author Bruce Weinstein. Bruce has authored two pressure cooking cookbooks with a third book on the way. We talk specifically about the Instant Pot brand of pressure cookers and get Bruce’s advice for cooking success and how to avoid common pitfalls. Anne gets to the bottom (literally) of her recent “barley incident” and her Instant Pot’s rude “burn” readout warning. She also admits that she did not read her Instant Pot’s user guide. (To be clear, she threw it away.) Pro tip: read your manual! 

 

 

After talking with Bruce, Anne heads to the Red Stick Spice test kitchen with store staffer Cameron where they make a big pot of Smoky Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice.    

Here's a shopping list for ya: 

Here’s a list of the links we mentioned in the podcast:

WHERE TO LISTEN TO SMIDGEN:

Listen to Smidgen on the podcast player above or on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or your favorite podcast app.

Smidgen Podcast Episode 003: The Power of an Incredible Teacher

Posted on June 27, 2019 by Anne Milneck | 0 comments

We all remember our favorite teachers. After you hear Anne’s interview with Marcelle Bienvenu, you’ll understand why she’s Anne’s all-time favorite teacher. Marcelle Bienvenu’s resume is lengthy: Times Picayune food writer, cookbook writer and editor for several culinary greats including Emeril Lagasse, plus she’s penned several cookbooks of her own. Marcelle is also an instructor at John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University. Listen as Anne and Marcelle unravel the complex tapestry of Cajun Creole Cuisine.

 

After talking with our guests, Anne heads to the Red Stick Spice test kitchen with store staffer Sara and cook up a skillet of Corn Creole. 

Here’s a list of the links we mentioned in the podcast:

  • Marcelle and Anne chatted about Emeril Lagasse’s 1996 cookbook Louisiana Real & Rustic and that it’s a great collection of Louisiana home cooking recipes.
  • Check out all of Marcelle’s books on Amazon. Be sure to grab copies of Anne’s favorites: the Who’s Your Mama series of cookbooks.
  • Read about Marcelle’s preservation work with her Cooking Up a Storm This one is a must for all food lovers, especially those who were fans of the Times Picayune Thursday food section.
  • If you’re ready to dig into the history of Cajun cuisine, grab a copy of Stir the Pot. This book is used as a curriculum text at John Folse Culinary Institute.
  • Be sure to make a reservation at Bistro Ruth, the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute run restaurant that Marcelle talked about on the podcast.
  • Anne & Sara head to the test kitchen to cook up Corn Creole. This very simple recipe is anything but simple when it comes to flavor. This dish includes our lower-salt Cajun-Creole spice blend called The Stuff. Corn Creole is a staple on Anne’s Thanksgiving table, and it’s also a must at the height of summertime corn season. This dish is comfort in a cast iron.
  • Considering culinary schools? Be sure to look into the program at Nicholls State University. The John Folse Culinary Institute offers a very competitive program that’s a bargain when it comes to tuition—trust us. Anne’s an alum.
  • Sara, our test kitchen sidekick, is also a professional organizer. You can find her over at South Coast Organizers

WHERE TO LISTEN TO SMIDGEN:

Listen to Smidgen on the podcast player above or on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or your favorite podcast app.

Smidgen Podcast Episode 002: It's Called Baking

Posted on June 20, 2019 by Anne Milneck | 1 comment

Your eyes eat first, right? Wrong. Today, our phones eat first. And for at least 6 years (an eon in social media years,) our phones have been eating Sheet Pan Suppers. Anne shows her cranky side and frustration over this “new” way of cooking—it’s called baking. While we are, in all seriousness 100% behind this cooking method, we did want to find out why the Sheet Pan Suppers “trend” caught on and keeps on keeping on. Anne covers this Phone to Fork movement with lots and lots of deliciousness along the way.

 

After talking with our guests, Anne heads to the Red Stick Spice test kitchen with store staffer and fellow plant eater Sara where they put a rainbow of veggies on multiple sheet pans then lose all their manners and talk with their mouths full of Sheet Pan Carrot tacos with Big Batch Restaurant Style Salsa.   

Before you listen or watch, print out our shopping list for this episode!

 

Here’s a list of the links we mentioned in the podcast:

  • First up, be sure you have several 18X13 inch sheet pans in your cupboard. In Baton Rouge, you can stock up on sheet pans at Ducote’s Restaurant Supply. They’re also available at Sam’s Club or online.
  • Sheet Pan Suppers author Molly Gilbert was a world of information. Molly and Anne talked about several recipes including Dorie Greenspan’s Sheet Pan Chicken with Apples along with Molly’s recipes for Baked Brie & Strawberries (page 9,) Crispy Mushrooms & Burrata Crostini (page 28,) Roasted Crisp Topped Eggplant with Chickpeas (page 150,) Greek Stuffed Roly-Poly Squash (page 166) and Orange Cardamom Pound Cake (page 246.) New to sheet pan suppers? Molly recommends that you start with Quick Chicken & Baby Broccoli with Spicy Peanut Sauce on page 52 of her book. Head over to Molly’s blog Dunk & Crumble for more recipes, and be sure to give her podcast And Eat It Too a listen—big, big fun!
  • Anne then chats with cooking instructor Lili Courtney about how the secrets to successful sheet pan suppers. Check out Lili’s Tarragon Mustard Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs. Be sure to keep an eye on our cooking classes and grab a seat in Lili’s next Skillets & Sheet Pans class.
  • Anne and social media manager Chelsey chatted about all things photo-worthy including her boutique Sosis. Be sure to check it out! We also filled our heads with more social media knowledge with local influencer Erin Bowling. Be sure to follow her on Instagram: @eatbatonrouge.
  • Anne & Sara head to the test kitchen to cook up Sheet Pan Carrot Tacos. We used our Taco Tuesday Blend and Garlic Jalapeno Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Then we blitzed up a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Restaurant Style Big Batch Salsa. Whether you’re feeding carnivores or veggie eaters, this recipe satisfies 100% of the time.
  • Sara, our test kitchen sidekick, is also a professional organizer. You can find her over at South Coast Organizers

    WHERE TO LISTEN TO SMIDGEN:

    Listen to Smidgen on the podcast player above or on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or your favorite podcast app.

    Smidgen Podcast Bonus Episode: Scratch vs. Store Bought

    Posted on June 19, 2019 by Anne Milneck | 1 comment

    Smidgen launched last week and we’ve been amazed with the response! Thank you to everyone who is listening, sharing, and reviewing the show. You can hear Episode 1 of Season 1 on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or your favorite podcast app.

    We have a little bonus for you as a thank you for all the support. Host Anne Milneck, owner of Red Stick Spice Co. and podcast producer Catherine O’Brien do a short lightning round on the topic of Scratch vs. Store Bought—some of Anne’s opinions might surprise you!

    Don’t forget: all the recipes featured on Smidgen can be found at Red Stick Spice.com. The next episode of Smidgen will be out in a few days, so enjoy this bonus until then! Thanks for listening to Smidgen!